This week’s TV class: LIGHTS OUT!, CHILLER, ONE STEP BEYOND and NIGHT GALLERY!
Our six-week horror TV course continues with Kristopher Woofter’s class on the horror “step-children” – those series that never seem to get as much attention as heavy hitters like The Twilight Zone and Outer Limits, but were no less pioneering and terrifying in their own right. Registration $7 at the door.
Week 2: Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 7:00pm-10:00pm
TV Horror’s “Others” and the (Pulp) Anthology Series: Lights Out! (1946, 1949-52), The Veil (1958), One Step Beyond (1959-61), Thriller (1960-62) and Night Gallery (1969-73)
Instructor: Kristopher Woofter
“What you are about to see is a matter of human record. Explain it, we cannot. Disprove it, we cannot. We simply invite you to explore with us the amazing world of the Unknown—to take that One Step … Beyond.”
— from John Newland’s Introduction to numerous episodes of One Step Beyond
Horror has had a pervasive presence on television since the late 1940s, a fact that may have been overshadowed by the enormous influence of two canonical 1960s horror series, The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. This class surveys five series that for various reasons now speak to a more limited, select audience than their monolithic counterparts. The earliest of these shows, Lights Out!, has its origins in the 1940s horror radio work of Arch Oboler. The short-lived, Boris Karloff-hosted The Veil predates Serling’s Twilight Zone and is a prototype for the later, more popular Karloff-fronted show, Thriller, which Stephen King called the best of all TV horror programs.The under-seen and equally underappreciated One Step Beyond, is prototypical of pseudo-scientific shows popular in the 1970s and 1980s focusing on the paranormal and the unexplained, such as In Search of … and Unsolved Mysteries. Finally, Night Gallery, Rod Serling’s pulp-inspired follow-up series to The Twilight Zone, will leave us on the verge of the contemporary period of horror on television, suggesting the anthology format attempted with fleeting success by 1980s horror series such as Darkroom (1979) and Cliffhanger (1981).
Television’s half-hour to one-hour formats were an ideal space to adapt the sustained atmosphere of intense gloom and dread of the short horror tale. This class focuses on select episodes that are either adaptations or extrapolations of horror short stories and radio scripts. We also will look into the aesthetics of the horror anthology series within the tradition of the pulps. Screenings will include representative clips from three of the series, as well as two complete episodes, one 25-minutes in length, and the other 50-minutes.
Full details on the 6-week curriculum HERE.